Sunday, June 24, 2007

Osteoarthritis vs. Osteoporosis

Patients often confuse Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis. They are two very different conditions. The following is a quick comparison:

(Degeneration of cartilage at joints)
o Painful
o Cause unknown but occurs with aging, prior trauma and genetics
o Mainly joints of hands, knees, hips and spine
o Worse in obese people
o Calcium does not help
o Swelling and stiffness of affected joints common.

Treatment includes acetaminophen or NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, celebrex), joint replacement in severe cases.


(Loss of skeletal bone mineral and calcium)
o Usually painless - unless fractures occur
o Caused by lack of estrogen, smoking, corticosteroids, genetics
o Affects all skeletal bones including jaw, spine, hips. Doesn’t affect joints.
o More common in skinny people
o Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D important.
o No joint swelling involved

Treatment includes bisphosphonate drugs, calcium, weight bearing exercises, estrogen.

Hope this quick comparison helps with the confusion.


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